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What Is Geropsychology?

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  • Written By: Alicia Sparks
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2016
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Geropsychology is a branch of clinical psychology that focuses on the geriatric population. Psychologists who provide geropsychology services are often referred to as geropsychologists. These kinds of psychologists are trained to treat elderly patients who are coping with the various changes and challenges associated with the aging process. Some geropsychologists might provide services for the family members and other loved ones of those patients, too. Geropsychology services are often available in long-term health and living facilities for the elderly, though it is not uncommon for individual geropsychologists to have their own private practices.

It might be simplest to think of geropsychologists as psychologists for the elderly. These psychologists provide counseling to the geriatric, or elderly, population. They might work with these individuals on a one-on-one basis, or in a group setting such as that of a nursing home, long-term care facility, or other assisted living facility. Even then, a geropsychologist might hold group counseling sessions as well as individual therapy sessions. A geropsychologist might also work with an elderly individual’s family members, together or separate from the geriatric patient.

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Geropsychology focuses on issues relevant to elderly and aging individuals. Such issues might include psychological, sociological, and neurological issues, but usually they always focus on the mental health and well being of the patient. Patients might seek geropsychology therapy for help coping with certain health ailments, or for counseling on how to best maintain their physical and mental well-being. If an elderly person is having a difficult time coping with the aging process, or dealing with the death of a spouse or other elderly friends, he might seek geropsychology services. Some geropsychology services might also cater to younger family members and loved ones to help them learn to better help their elderly loved one.

Often, geropsychology services are made available in health and living facilities that cater to an aging population. Usually, this means patients of such facilities have some sort of regular access to a geropsychologist, whether it is within a group setting or an individual counseling session. Some geropsychologists also have private practices, where elderly patients can make appointments and see them just as they would any other kind of doctor or therapist. Like other kinds of psychologists, geropsychologists are often included in their area’s local listings. If a person is unable to find a geropsychologist, he might talk with his doctor or another therapist to obtain a referral.

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